Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Instructions for Entering Fall Fiction Fest

The submission window for Fall Fiction Fest opens tomorrow, October 31st, at 4:00 pm EST! 

The instructions and rules for entry are below.

No need to rush. We will be open for 24 hours. That's right, submissions can be sent on Halloween or All Saints Day, depending on whether you're feeling saintly or slightly more evil. 

Please do not enter early or your entry will be deleted. You can resend at the proper time if this happens accidentally. Confirmation emails will be sent. If you don’t receive one, don’t resend. We don’t want duplicate entries. Please check with us on Twitter first to confirm your entry did or did not arrive, then you may resend. 

There is only ONE, yes that’s right, ONE entry per person allowed. Any attempt to cheat will result in entries being thrown out. This contest is only for finished and polished stories. 

Important note: The story can’t have been in the agent round of any other contest in the last three months. This doesn't mean twitter pitch events with hashtags, but multiple agent blog contests. If you entered Pitchwars and didn't get a mentor, we welcome you. 

falling leaves loop GIF

Though we love picture books, Michelle holds special contests just for them. We do accept all MG, YA, NA and Adult genres, excluding erotica. We'd like you to be followers of our blogs. Click the “follow” button on my blog. You can find Amy's blog here and Marty's blog here. If following our blogs doesn't work, follow us on twitter or sign up for our newsletters instead. Don't sweat this. Do your best.  

dog fall GIF

The Format:

Send submission to Sunversussnow (at) yahoo (dot) com. (Yep, we're recycling the address.) Only one submission per person is allowed. It doesn’t matter if you write under different names or are submitting different manuscripts. You are still one person and get one entry.

Here’s how it should be formatted (yes, include the bolded!) Please use Times New Roman (or equivalent), 12 pt font, single-spaced, and put spaces between paragraphs. No indents or tabs are needed. No worries if your gmail doesn’t have Times New Roman. No worries if the email messes up your format. Yes, we will still read it! :-)  

(Here’s a trick to keep your paragraph spacing: copy and paste your entry into your email and then put in the line spaces. They seem to get lost when you copy and paste. It may look right but sending scrambles the spacing.)

Subject Line: Fall Fest: TITLE, Age Category + Genre
(example: Fall Fest: GRUDGING, Adult Epic Fantasy)

In The Email:

Title: MY FANTASTIC BOOK (yes, caps!)
Genre: YA dystopian Ownvoices (Age category and genre. Add "Ownvoices" here if it applies)
Word Count: XX,XXX (round to the nearest thousand)
Twitter Handle: (Optional so we can contact you. Will not be public.)

How Did You Fall for Writing: (Share your origin story in 100 words or less.) My husband dared me that I couldn't write a book. And--ta-da--I could!


Query goes here! Include greeting and main paragraphs. You may include bio, closing, but not the word count + genre. We already have that. You may include comps if you’d like. There is no word count limit on the query but please aim for 250 – 300 words.

You may include if your story is OwnVoices or otherwise has diversity up in the genre line and in the query. 

Remember a query has several paragraphs with spaces. Don't send us a pitch.  

First 250 words:

Here are the first 250 words of my manuscript, and I will not end in the middle of a sentence. But I will not go over 257 words. Be reasonable and don’t make us count. Don’t forget to space between paragraphs! No indents!

So that's it. See you at 4:00 pm Eastern time on Halloween. Good luck!

jimmy fallon bobbing for apples GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Now for the fun stuff!

Watch on Wednesday for our Twitter Party!  We'll have a list of daily topics to talk about on twitter under #FallFest.

Also join us for a very special party on November 6th! That's when we'll try to get 100 voters to give us shout outs and blow this contest wide open! 

And you can scroll down on this blog to see the posts about mentors, agents, and all the dates of Fall Fiction Fest, as well as our special November 6th bonus opportunity. 


  1. Hi! I have a question about the rules. It says not to send a pitch. But, isn't the query itself a pitch? Can you specify what the paragraphs should include if not the pitch? Thanks!

    1. Hie, I would suggest you do a google search on how to write a query letter for your book. A pitch is small as compared to a query which is a little longer and more in detail. It also has more info about you and the book.

      If you search online you will find helpful sources to write a perfect query for you story. Many websites also have a example query. Hope this is helpful.

  2. Quick question: As I read these instructions, the query and first page go in the body of the e-mail, yes? First time doing one of these and want to make sure I get the formatting right. Improper formatting can be a pain to people reading a ton of submissions. :)

  3. What a great opportunity and an even better chance to follow your blog and Twitter account at #FallFest! Thank you!

  4. Hello: When it says to include the greeting in the query letter, are we supposed to address it to someone specific? Or just put a blank? (Dear ____: ) Thanks!

    1. Either. You can leave it blank, address it to us, or skip the greeting entirely.

  5. I made an error in my submission. May I withdraw it and resubmit?

  6. There's a twitter pitch event coming up called Adpit/Kidpit. This is occurring before the selections are posted for Fall Fiction Fest. If we entered this, can we still do the twitter pitch event or should we wait until the selections are made?